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Proposition 60: Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.

The California Labor Federation does not take a stance on this measure.

Click here to download California Labor’s 2016 Endorsements & Ballot Measures Analyses

A YES vote on this measure means:

Adult film performers would be required to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse, producers would be required to pay for testing and examinations, and the state, performers, or any state resident could sue to enforce these provisions.

A NO vote on this measure means:

Adult film performers would not be required to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse.  Current CalOSHA health and safety regulations and Measure B would remain in effect.

Official Secretary of State Ballot Summary:   

  • Requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse.
  • Requires producers of adult films to pay for performer vaccinations, testing, and medical examinations related to sexually transmitted infections.
  • Requires producers to obtain state health license at beginning of filming and to post condom requirement at film sites.
  • Imposes liability on producers for violations, on certain distributors, on performers if they have a financial interest in the violating film, and on talent agents who knowingly refer performers to noncomplying producers.
  • Permits the state, performers, or any state resident to enforce violations.

Background:

California is the leading location for adult film production. Adult film performers are exposed to a variety of occupational health and safety hazards during filming, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and syphilis. The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) creates and enforces regulations to protect workers from health and safety hazards in the workplace, including on adult film sets. Employers in the adult film industry are required to comply with all relevant state laws and regulations, including those regulating exposure to STDs.

In February, 2016, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to reject a proposed standard that would have required the use of condoms and other protective equipment in adult films. However, existing Cal/OSHA regulations still require barrier protection, including condoms, to protect adult film workers from exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. The blood-borne pathogens standard requires employers use feasible engineering and work practice controls to protect workers from coming into contact with blood or other disease-carrying body fluids, including semen and vaginal fluid. Examples of engineering and work practice controls recommended by Cal/OSHA for the adult film industry include simulation of sex acts using simulated fluids, acting, production and post-production techniques, ejaculation outside the partner’s body and use of barriers, such as condoms, which protect the partner from contact with semen, vaginal fluids and mucous membranes, among others.

In November 2012, voters in Los Angeles County approved a ballot measure (Measure B) requiring adult film producers to obtain a public health permit and comply with state occupation safety and health regulations. Measure B effectively requires adult film performers to wear condoms when making adult films in LA County. The ballot measure was subsequently challenged, and the courts have altered some provisions. A U.S. district court judge, however, found that challenges to Measure B’s condom requirement on First Amendment grounds are unlikely to succeed. A federal appellate court upheld the district court decision. Additional litigation related to Measure B seems likely.

This measure would require actors in adult films to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse and would require other workplace health and safety measures in the adult film industry. It would impose liability on producers, distributors, certain performers and talent agents who knowingly violate the law. The measure permits any state resident to enforce violations.

Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance estimate of fiscal impact: 

Potentially reduced state and local tax revenue of millions or tens of millions of dollars per year.  Likely state costs of a few million dollars annually to administer the law.  Possible ongoing net costs or savings for state and local health and human services programs.

Support and Opposition:

The proponent, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, argues that this initiative is needed to protect adult film performers from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases who currently are not adequately protected by existing workplace safety rules.   They argue that this result of this unsafe work environment is a public health crisis that would be preventable if reasonable steps were taken to protect these performers.

Opponents, including trade organizations representing the pornography industry and performers, argue this initiative will not protect adult film performers as intended.  Instead, it will subject performers and producers to frivolous lawsuits by any resident who wants to go after them. They state that this will drive the adult film industry underground or to places that offer few protections for workers. An underground adult film industry would pose even more health and safety threats to workers.

Prior Positions:

The Labor Federation has not taken positions on past legislation regulating condoms in adult films.  No union took a position on Measure B in Los Angeles County.


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